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How Jowie And Maribe Drew Monica Kimani’s Murder Plot And Cover-Up Attempts

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On September 19, 2018, businesswoman Monica Kimani arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from her business trip to South Sudan.

From the airport, Kimani boarded a taxi to her apartment at Lamuria Gardens in Kilimani, Nairobi, to spend the night.

Her younger brother George Kimani testified that she promised to meet the family the following day before flying out to Dubai to meet her Sudanese boyfriend.

It was supposed to be a short, happy family reunion but it never came to pass.

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She was found murdered the following morning with her throat slit and the body dumped in the bathtub with the water running.

Four and a half years after her death, journalist Jacqueline Maribe and ex-boyfriend Joseph Irungu alias Jowie are on the verge of paying the ultimate price for the offence.

The two were found with a case to answer and put on their defence over Monica’s murder.

“I have had the benefit of going through the evidence and submissions and the court is satisfied that the prosecution has established a prima facie case to place each of the accused persons on their defence,” ruled Justice Grace Nzioka on Wednesday.

The prosecution, through Wangui Gichui, presented 35 witnesses, some of who were under witness protection, and several pieces of documentary evidence to prove the case against Jowie and Maribe who at the time were living as a couple at Royal Park Estate in Lang’ata.

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Their case was that Jowie was the principal offender while Maribe was an accomplice who knew everything that happened but engaged in a cover-up.

Lead investigator officer Maxwell Otieno in his bid to recreate Monica’s last moments and trace Jowie’s movements before he allegedly murdered the businesswoman took the court on a site visit with key details of what transpired.

“It was a well-executed plan where the accused person stole an identity card at their Royal Park Estate residence and used it to access Lamuria Gardens where he committed the murder, went back and burnt the clothes and borrowed a gun to shoot himself,” Otieno told the court.

According to the investigator, Jowie’s movement started at Road House Grill in Kilimani where he spent the evening on September 19, 2018, drinking with friends.

Related Content:  Monica Kimani’s Murder: The Loopholes And Unanswered Questions

He is said to have arrived at the restaurant at around 6pm using Maribe’s car while in the company of two friends.

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At around 8pm he left the venue for Lenana Road where he took a taxi to Monica’s house at Lamuria Gardens, which he accessed using a stolen ID card and went to House Number 8 on Block A where Monica stayed.

Stolen ID

The owner of the stolen ID, Dominic Hosea, told the court that he had gone to work at Royal Park Estate where Jowie and Maribe were staying and left his ID at the gate before it was stolen.

A protected witness had also told the court that Jowie presented the stolen ID at the gate of Lamuria Gardens in order to access Monica’s house.

While inside the house, the prosecution called Lee Omondi who identified Jowie as the last person with Monica before she was found murdered.

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According to the witness, he visited Monica’s house on the night of her arrival from South Sudan and found her in the company of two men, Jowie and another man called Walid.

“After about one and a half hours, Walid left and I also excused myself. I thought it best to leave Jowie and Monica to themselves since he looked like he was familiar with the house and someone who knew the place,” the witness said.

According to the prosecution, no one knows what happened after Omondi left Jowie and Monica since she was found dead the next morning.

The apartment’s caretaker Reagan Buluku testified that he could not withstand the gory scene as Monica’s body lay lifeless in her bathroom, with both legs and hands tied and blood flowing from her slit throat.

“I was so shocked when I saw how she was slaughtered. I could not withstand the sight and rushed back to her sitting room. There was blood on her neck…,” said Buluku.

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His testimony was backed by police investigator Jennifer Jepkosgei who presented to the court images of the scene.

She produced photos of the woman in the bathroom, her hands tied and a masking tape on her mouth. There was also blood splattered on the kitchen floor.

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Dr Peter Ndegwa who performed the post-mortem testified that Monica did not die from natural causes since the death was caused by excessive bleeding due to a severe neck injury.

The prosecution also presented to court Maribe’s car movement on the night where chief inspector Fredrick Michuki testified that it was captured in Kilimani from Ngong Road towards Yaya Centre.

It was captured again along Mbagathi Road and State House Road near the University of Nairobi towards Uhuru Highway then Westlands before it was seen heading to Lang’ata Road.

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The lead investigator, chief inspector Otieno, had testified that Jowie had joined Maribe at a club in Westlands after allegedly committing the murder, before going home together where they hatched a plan to cover up the crime.

He took the judge on a site visit to Maribe’s house at Royal Park Estate where he said Jowie borrowed a pistol from neighbour Brian Kasaine and shot himself in the shoulder before going back to the neighbour to seek help.

Cover-up?

According to the investigator, they were able to trace the hole in the wall where the bullet had hit which Jowie and Maribe tried to coverusing some powder.

“At one point during our investigations, Maribe admitted that Jowie had shot himself but when we asked her about the bullet head, she told us that she had thrown it into the toilet and flashed it,” said Otieno.

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He said after the self-shooting incident, there was a serious disagreement between Jowie and Maribe after which he threatened the former journalist.

Otieno also showed the court the exact location outside the building where Jowie is said to have burnt his blood-stained clothes to destroy evidence.

On September 20, 2018, after the murder, Dr Lawrence Obonyo testified that Jowie walked into Nairobi West Hospital in the middle of the night claiming he had been shot by thugs on the left shoulder.

But the prosecution presented evidence to prove that the gunshot was self-inflicted.

Gichuhi, while closing the prosecution’s case, said Jowie and Maribe had a common intention to kill Monica and later engaged in an elaborate plan to cover up the murder.

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She said both direct and circumstantial evidence in which Jowie allegedly stole an ID card to access Monica’s house showed they planned the killing with Maribe who was waiting for him to accomplish the task before they go home.

Gichuhi said Maribe was aware of the killing by giving him her vehicle to use in the murder before trying to conceal the murder by lying to the police and destroying evidence.

According to the prosecution, Maribe conspired with Jowie to create a false narrative that they had been attacked by robbers while entering their house at Royal Park Estate in Lang’ata when Jowie had shot himself.

“At no point did she provide information to police about the murder, only to be seen on Citizen TV the following day announcing the death of Monica when she was fully aware of what had happened,” said Gichuhi.

Phone data

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Gichuhi added that the report from the government chemist proved that Monica’s blood was found in Jowie’s clothes and that his phone call data placed him at the scene of the murder.

But Jowie and Maribe maintained their innocence, saying Monica could have been killed by an unknown man who was in her house that night.

Jowie’s lawyer Hassan Nandwa said the prosecution is wrong to say he killed Monica merely because he was the last person seen with her.

Justice Nzioka confirmed that the prosecution had proved the case and it was now Jowie and Maribe’s turn to tell their side of the story and defend themselves.

Jowie said he will give a sworn statement and call one witness while Maribe said she will call six witnesses to defend her. In the event that they fail to successfully defend themselves, the former lovers could be sentenced to death being the maximum penalty for murder. Justice Nzioka scheduled May 11 and 12 for the defence hearing.

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